The Brunswick girls basketball team practices Monday at Brunswick High School. Eli Canfield/The Times Record

After three weeks of skills and drills conditioning sessions, the Brunswick High School basketball teams are back to full practices in advance of their long-awaited season openers Monday against Freeport.

“We’ve had a good three weeks total of skills and drills, along with walk-through learning,” said Brunswick boys basketball head coach Todd Hanson. “We will definitely be moving in a direction of live play this week in order to get ready for game conditions next week.”

The girls team is doing the same, ramping up their activity with their first game less than a week away.

“We were itching to get back to work and to be here together,” said Brunswick senior Hannah Fortier, the lone senior on the Dragons this season.

Brunswick’s first opponent is Freeport, which is also spending the week prepping for live game action.

“We are getting back to full strength as far as roster size goes, and will need to get in shape this week,” said Freeport boys basketball coach Bill Ridge. “We have talked a lot recently and reminded the guys that it is not possible with only skills, drills, and conditioning to simulate the effort exerted during 5 on 5 full court basketball.”

The Brunswick girls basketball team practices on Monday at Brunswick High School. Eli Canfield/The Times Record

The Falcons will play with a predominantly young team.

“We have only four or five players that got regular and meaningful minutes last season, so we need to focus on us before we can shift our focus to others,” said Ridge.

Ridge added the way the schedule allows for younger players to gain valuable experience.

“We have the opportunity to make adjustments and try different things weekly, which should benefit us,” he said. “We are looking forward to being able to compete with each other in practices this week.”

 

MTA STAYNG PATIENT: While athletics are temporarily paused at Mt. Ararat, student-athletes are doing what they can to stay connected and active until they’re scheduled to resume in-person learning on Feb. 8.

Eagles girls basketball head coach Julie Petrie has been keeping her team involved by sending them workouts and activities to do at home.

“We virtually talk just about everyday just to stay connected and to keep moving forward with team bonding and to make sure we aren’t getting out of touch,” said Mt. Ararat senior forward Jaden Lohr. I know the girls have been doing their best during this time to stay in shape and trying to get stronger so that when we return we can get right back into it.”

Mt. Ararat’s Morgan Ruff dribbles through Cony High School players during a Jan. 11 in Augusta. Andy Molloy/Kennebec Journal

The boys team is following suit, and senior forward Ty Henke is doing everything he possibly can to stay up to par with the competition.

“I know other teams are playing and practicing so I have to stay one step ahead and treat every day like we’re still playing,” said Henke. “It’s not a vacation by any means.”

 

HITTING THE MARK: Mt. Ararat swimmer Cora Spelke continues to smash school records. Earlier this season, she broke the school record in the 200-meter freestyle, with a time of 2:03.06 in a virtual meet against Cony. In a Jan. 22 virtual meet against Belfast, she broke her own school record in the 500 freestyle (5:32.09), smashing her previous school record she set in 2018 by nine seconds.

 

SHIPBUILDERS STAY ACTIVE: Morse competed in a virtual swim meet and two basketball games last week, with more events scheduled to take place later this week.

The boys basketball team is off to a 1-1 start, following an opening night victory at Lincoln Academy (75-46) and a loss (70-42) at Medomak Valley.

The Morse girls are coming off of two winless seasons. Although they’ve started this season 0-2, head coach Jeannine Paradis is seeing vast improvement from where her team was last season.

“We’re showing progress in the little things that should soon translate to wins,” said Paradis after a 38-33 opening-night loss to Lincoln Academy on Jan. 28.

The Shipbuilders fell to Medomak Valley 46-33 on Jan. 29, but will have a chance at redemption when they play the Panthers on Friday in Warren. The Shipbuilders also face Gardiner on Thursday, with the boys on the road and the girls at home.

The Morse swimming team has held two virtual meets so far this season, facing off against Messalonskee and Camden Hills, with both the boys and the girls each starting the season with two unblemished wins.

 

RICHMOND BASKETBALL COMPETING: After multiple scheduling changes and postponements, the Richmond boys basketball team opened its season last weekend with a 50-44 win in Auburn against St. Dominic. Caleb Densmore (16 points) and Andrew Vachon (14) led the way.. The girls team has dealt with multiple postponements, but is scheduled to open up against Lincoln Academy on Feb. 9.

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